Rapid Fall in Covid-19 Cases In Kentucky May Be Slowing Down.

[Addendum added November 6, 2021:  
Yesterday’s (Friday) reported Kentucky Covid-19 data was the last such available until Monday evening. There were 1,421 new cases, 53 new deaths, and 726 individuals currently in the hospital.  Kentucky’s 7-Day calculated Test Positivity Rate increased to 5.19%. On Friday, 30% of all new reported cases were in people 18 years old or younger.  The current hospital census continues to decrease.  These new numbers do not change the tentative conclusions offered in the article below. While the number of new cases was less than for recent Fridays, is seems more certain that the rate of decrease is declining.  While there may be other reasons for this, the increase in Test Positivity Rate offers a potential less benign explanation! KHPI’s Tableau Public website has been updated.]

As of Thursday evening, the number of new cases of Covid-19 in Kentucky continues to decline but at a lower velocity.  Wednesday’s count of 1614 new cases was only 59 fewer than the previous Wednesday’s. The seven-day average of new cases was 1191, but a steady-state above 1000 per day may approaching. The reported KY test positivity rate is no longer falling as it was.  According to other reports, this is a trend that is occurring nationally.

Deaths are now beginning to decline predictably with a one-month delay following the peak of new cases during the first half of September.  The current 7-day average of reported deaths is 24 per day.

Hospital and its closely related ICU bed utilization continue to fall from their record high peaks on September 10 but remain significantly elevated.

The semi-log plots of both new cases daily and their 14-day average are not trending downwards as rapidly as they were a month ago. (A horizontal plotline indicates a steady state of new cases.)

The number of new tests per day has been slowly drafting downwards with a current 7-day average of 22,100 total reported tests per day.

The full panel of data visualizations updated every weekday is available on the KHPI Tableau Public Website.

The largest number of daily new cases has historically been reported on Thursdays and Fridays.  Recall that it took a while for last winter’s surge to settle down to its nadir in June’s good weather.  Individuals of school age under 19 still make up 27% of new reported cases.  Winter is coming.  Whether we have relaxed our vigilance too much remains to be seen.  No one precaution, be it vaccination or a combination of traditional public health measures are perfect, but we ignore either approach as our communal peril.

Peter Hasselbacher, MD
Emeritus Professor of Medicine, UofL
Kentucky Health Policy Institute
4 November 2021